Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Career changes, career transitions 21: putting this series in perspective, and using the jobs and careers guide it is included in as a career development resource

Posted in career development, job search, job search and career development by Timothy Platt on April 26, 2013

This is my twenty first posting to a series on careers, career development and career transitions, and on looking at work and the work experience from a wider perspective than that of the here and now job or job search (see my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 2, postings 285-304 for Parts 1-20.) And my goal for this series installment, as stated at the end of Part 20 is to discuss how this series fits into my jobs and careers Guide as a whole, and on using the rest of that collective resource for career planning per se. As I noted at the end of Part 20,

• As a matter of practical reality our careers take form and are realized as the series of jobs actually held and work performed, and what we achieve from that effort.

So my goal here is about using the Guide as a whole with its:

Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development directory page and listings, and
its Part 2 continuation page and its listings

as a set of tools for thinking and planning through specific job searches, jobs, and job and work progressions.

But as a starting point, rather than immediately delving into the Guide as a whole and how it is organized, I want to ground this discussion with some thoughts related to goals, benchmarks and follow-through – and making and carrying through on commitment points. This is particularly important here, where career planning often means not following a preplanned or expected “linear” and straightforward career path.

• With time we all take at least some unexpected turns in direction in our career paths.
• That can mean making a lateral career move to a new job or title that is different from what we have been doing but that would not necessarily be seen as a career advancement.
• That can even mean strategically and with forethought accepting what could be seen as a demotion or a pay cut – as a requirement for keeping a job when your employer is facing difficulties and the economy is down, or in order to develop new skills that you would need fir making a later intended career move.
• That can mean accepting and working your way through a layoff or downsizing and that can turn into making a very significant change in direction in what you do professionally, and into a completely new career track.
• The unexpected and unplanned for happen and we need to be able to adjust to that if we are to thrive in it.

I have made note of career nonlinearity and the unexpected in other postings in this series, but these issues come to the fore here when career planning is considered from the perspective of particular jobs and addressing their issues and responsibilities and job levels. So think in terms of what long-term gives meaning for you for what you do and seek to do professionally. And make a commitment point out of those goals as your long-term fixed goals – and be flexible in adjusting to the ongoing flow of challenge and opportunity in continuing to strive towards that. And with that in mind I cite Part 19 and Part 20 of this series and note that when I wrote of the wish list exercise there, I was not just writing about idealized and perhaps unrealistic goals. I was writing about setting anchor points that you can rely on with known and considered sources of value that you can turn to when facing here and now uncertainty.

And with that said, I turn to the overall Guide itself as a career toolset, beginning with the directory listings of its first directory page.

• As a broad sweep, the Guide begins with postings and series related to job search. That includes essentially every posting from number 1 through 72 of the Guide page 1, and in this context I specifically note two series that I developed there:
Jumpstarting Your Networking (Postings 47-50), and
Finding Your Best Practices Plan B When Your Job Search Isn’t Working (Postings 56-72) with is systematic series of hands-on exercises for carrying through a strategic job search.
• Then I turn in the guide to consider issues of starting a new job and best practices for getting back into the flow of activity of the workplace with: Starting a New Job, Building a New Foundation (Postings 73-88.)
• With both in mind, but primarily turning back to the issues of finding and landing a new job, I then added the series: Bringing the Job Market and Marketplace into Focus (Postings 89-102.)
• And with that in place I began discussing management, and from both sides of the table: working for a new boss and moving into a first entry level management position (Postings 103-123.)
• I add that throughout the Guide I at least occasionally add in a posting that I consider appropriate for content but that does not clearly fit into a simple career progression model or anything like that. Posting 124: A Critique of the Peter Principle – career as a series of growth and transition phases, fits into that group.
• I proceed from there to write about the workplace itself, and about working on teams and better understanding the dynamics of the workplace with its sometimes conflicting needs and priorities (Postings 125-141.)
• And then I turn to the issues of advancing into middle management (Postings 142-149.)
• That seemed to be a good place to consider the issues of work/life balance so I added a series delving into those issues next (Postings 150-157.)
• And with that in place I moved onto to discuss the issues and challenges of moving into senior management (Postings 158-178.) And that is where I concluded adding series and posting links to the main directory section of this page. I also list a set of 26 supplemental postings at the end of the Guide page 1, which I will list and categorize in this outline at the end of this posting.

I continue the Guide from there with its Part 2 continuation page and:

• A series on joining and working on a board of directors (Postings 179-205.)
• I then stepped back to consider the issues and responsibilities faced when participating in and contributing to a workplace with a series on joining, working on and leading committees (Postings 206-220.)
• And with an immediate and directly applicable experience in mind as a source of incentive I added a short series on stockholder and annual meetings (Postings 221-224.) This can be seen in many respects as being a continuation of what I wrote of in my series on boards as noted above.
• And with that in place I turned to consider the career steps and paths of working as a consultant (Postings 225-249), and about projects and project management (Postings 250-266.)
• Nonprofits and working in the nonprofit sector constitutes a very particular type of career path, with its own specific issues and perspectives so I added a series on leading a nonprofit next (Postings 267-284.)
• And with Posting 285 I began adding this series on careers and career planning and development.
• My basic objective for moving forward past this series in the main directory sections of this Guide, is to add further material that would deal with issues of work life and careers and at that level, though I might very well add more individual postings or series that address issues more specific to particular career steps or stages too.
• And as noted above, along with the main directory listings, I have added supplemental postings too. That includes 26 additional postings as added to the bottom of the first Guide directory page and an additional 25 added to the bottom of the second, at least as of this writing. I address a number of issues in my supplemental postings related to the workplace and job market, and better preparing to succeed in it, and will continue to add to that too.

Meanwhile, I offer this posting as the last installment of this series. And you can find it and related postings and series at my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 2 and at my first Guide directory page on Job Search and Career Development.

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